Search Results for: costume

October 20

The Most Only-In-Japan Halloween Costumes Ever

Tired of being the same old sexy skunk or slightly NSFW goose in a tutu for Halloween? Keep your fellow costume partiers guessing with these only-in-Japan puzzlers! I found these at the always-entertaining Don Kihote megastore in Shibuya (here’s a map). And if you still haven’t hit on your dream costume, you can always check […]

December 18

Department Of Seasonal Pet Humiliation: This Year’s Santa Cat Costume

Sporting all the premium quality you’d expect from a ¥400 vending machine, this Santa Claws capelet just might be the perfect gift for someone who dreams of #catsofinstagram glory (and is willing to risk the kind of revenge that will certainly be extracted after uploading Growler’s humiliation for all the world to see). • Or […]

September 08

Jolly Despot Costumes I Would Regret

  Recently I discovered this primo autocrat disguise, so you can give fellow revelers a choice: laugh at your jokes…or quake in fear as missiles are pointed in your general direction. Saw these at Don Kihote store in Shibuya. If you’d like to be amazed by the weird goods there the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map to all Don Qi locations […]

October 30

Halloween Costumes I Would Regret

Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you get a free pass in the career-killing costume department. Photos of you wearing any of these are pretty sure to digitally haunt you for the rest of your life. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…

March 27

Cherry Blossom Party Costumes I Would Regret

The cherry trees are readying their onslaught, and it’s almost time for the annual beer-fuelled frolicking to commence. What better way to say, “I am a wild and crazy guy” than to don one of these festive pinker-than-thou costumes? • Instead of donning pink spandex, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo “A genuinely gripping crime thriller which […]

January 10

For All Your Crossdressing Costume Needs

Now a guy no longer has to waste hours in front of the mirror, practicing lying to the cashier at Tokyu Hands that he’s buying that sparkly pink Power Ranger dress for his girlfriend! This product is clearly labeled BOY RANGER (with the helpful subtitle “BOYS” beneath, written in phonetic katakana for the kanji-challenged customer). […]

October 04

Costumes I Would Regret Even Thinking Of Wearing

What IS this? A rare species of face-eating nudibranch? A faded map of the 18th hole at Pebble Beach?  No! It’s a fake five o’clock shadow! This is an especially spectacular career-inhibitor if the costume-wearing prankster is a woman! Long, long after you reach what would have been retirement age if you’d ever been able […]

September 04

Costumes I Would Regret, Part Deux

Nothing says Career Killer like a shot of your grinning face leering at the camera from inside a beer mask, two-fisting some brewskies! Tokyu Hands once again comes through with a costume that makes you think, “Snap! I don’t even have to dress up!” but ends up producing dozens of eminently uploadable candids for everyone’s internet-viewing […]

July 08

Costumed Sponges

I post this with some trepidation, for fear it will inspire serial knitters to shower their friends and relations with rainbow yarn sponge hoodies for Christmas, but these cosplaying kitchen scrubbers were too cute to pass up. • Read a novel set in Tokyo

May 28

Costumes I Would Regret

I must be doing something right, since I don’t have any Japanese friends who throw parties attended by anyone wearing THIS. Although not quite as permanent as  a tattoo, pictures of oneself wearing this attractive item would certainly circulate endlessly on the interwebs, thwarting one’s job advancement for millennia to come. • Jonelle Patrick writes novels set […]

October 15

This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?

I had to go check to make sure that the best-dressed nude statue in Tokyo made it through the typhoon safely. And he did! Not only that, he already knows what he’s going to be for Halloween. But…huh? As you can see, “witch” costumes in Japan are subject to the same considerable creative interpretation that has […]

January 08

Dogs In Kimonos: Shiba Edition!

The only thing in all of Japan that might be cuter than huskies in kimonos is a parade of shiba inus in kimono. Shibas are well-known for making like the Petrified Forest and refusing to budge until even the tiniest hint of humiliating costumery is removed, but the noble beasts I caught making their first shrine […]

March 21

Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimono To Die For

So you think you can’t rock a kimono because you’re not Japanese? Think again! Tamao Shigemune designs modern versions of traditional Japanese women’s wear with a distinctly Parisian twist, and guess what? You can see them (and try her new summer collection on!) right now in Tokyo, through Sunday March 26th. Tamao Shigemune will be showing her collection at that […]

October 30

What NOT To Wear For Halloween

As you can imagine, in the land where Sexy Santa and Sexy Skunk are a Thing (why, Japan, why?), Halloween is the premiere season for Costume Don’ts. Saw these at Don Kihote store in Shibuya. If you’d like to be amazed by the weird goods there the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map to all Don […]

October 09

The Peeing Statue Vending Machine

It’s always hard to say goodbye to my favorite costumed peeing boy statue when I leave Tokyo, but now I don’t have to! Thanks to the awesome vending machine I discovered at Yodobashi Camera, I can take him home with me and develop a whole new level of procrastination skillz, crafting little costumes for him… But, […]

April 18

The Best Dressed Nude Statue In All Of Tokyo

Sometimes you’re trudging home and dreading getting on a crowded train, then you find THIS! How great is it that they have a peeing boy statue smack in the middle of the train platform at the otherwise grim Hamamatsucho Station? As if that weren’t cheering enough, for over fifteen years this bronze nude taking a perpetual whizz has been dressed […]

January 01

Midnight Fox Parade

Middle school boys in foxface and golden skirt-pants carrying gigantic fox heads through the streets of Tokyo? Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year? Every December 31st at midnight, the good citizens of Oji gather at the local inari shrine to show the furry-tailed messengers of the gods a good time. […]

October 17

Level Up, Halloweenies!

Because in Japan, dressing up is no joke! Real cosplayers scoff at Halloween as Amateur Night, but for most people, the Big H is a chance to flaunt their secret zombie in public, and even ordinary citizens put serious effort into Doing It Right. • Read a novel set in Tokyo  

April 19

Real Life Tokyo Drift

The roar of unmufflered engines! The smell of burning rubber! The gratuitously skimpy costumes of booth babes! Yes, this weekend is the Gran Turismo D1 Professional Drifting Grand Prix, and it does not disappoint! 2017 update: If you happen to be in town and want to see Tokyo Drift, it’s a two day event (Sat & Sun) […]

March 25

New Type Kimono: Maximum Princess

Your typical Japanese gyaru might be happy to see kimono-wearing go the way of ballroom dancing and tea ceremony, but a growing number of hip young women are adopting the techniques of alt fashion subcultures to breathe new life into old-skool clothes. Kimono hime lovers flaunt convention with a mash-up of vintage patterns, non-trad color combos and Western accessories to spawn a style that is utterly new, yet still utterly […]

January 07

Sick Is The New Black

In the eternal search for a beauty trend that their mothers dare not copy, young women in Japan are now trying to look…sickly. Yes, it’s gone beyond dyeing their hair gray to using makeup in ways that makes them look positively feverish! I first noticed this trend when I signed up to be a Lolita for a day, and the […]

December 19

Looks Like Santa’s Been Skipping The Gym This Year

As you know, I take an avid and unnatural interest in Japanese holiday costumes, and this year is no exception. There were the usual acts of Santa blasphemy – including Sexy Santa, Emo Santa and Thong Santa – but this year there was a decided trend toward puffiness, even in the outlying Xmas characters. • Read a novel set […]

April 02

Hanami Blitz: My Picks For The Best Cherry Blossoms In Tokyo!

Okay, hanami warriors, it’s time to charge up your camera batteries, sharpen your elbows, and strap on your subway card, because the cherry blossoms only last a couple of days, and you’ve got serious ground to cover if you’re going to take in all my favorite viewing spots! In the past three days, I’ve been charging […]

January 20

Hot Babe Leopard Rarrrr Of Sewing Machines

Get inspired to whip up a Goth-Vampire costume of killer drop-deadness by kitting out your Bernina with these wildass skins! Your plain vanilla sewing steed no longer has to pine away waiting for a fairy godmother to wave her wand and transform it into the belle of the ball, now that you can dress it […]

January 02

Top Ten “Only In Japan” Posts of 2013

Before we move on to 2014 madness, check out this insanity! Here are the top viewed posts from the past year… #10 Extreme Pancakes In a “foreign food” breakthrough worthy of comparison to the In ‘n Out Double Double, behold the most recent craze in Japanese pancakes: super thick flapjacks! A miracle of batter engineering, […]

December 23

Sexy Santa Roundup!

Ladies, just because those gold lamé and leopard print Santa costumes are made for men doesn’t mean you can’t play fast and loose with the jolly old elf this Christmas season! The Sexy Santa is a holiday tradition in Japan, and no party would be complete without a few of these beauties in attendance… • Read […]

October 18

Mascot Fail

If ever there was an organization in need of an international focus group, it would be the association in charge of coming up with a mascot to promote the products of poor beleaguered Fukushima. When I first saw this, I thought it was a colossal internet trolling! I mean, after suffering one of the grandest […]

October 16

You’re A Sexy WHAT?

What’s a girl to do if she needs a fetching Halloween costume for the company drinkathon, but doesn’t want to show up in the same maid costume all the OLs are wearing or be the only female AKB48 impersonator? Bunnychan Club costume design to the rescue! The only problem is, it’s so hard to decide […]

July 25

Reading Group Hot Topics

  • Who do you think is happier  – people who have arranged marriages or people who choose for themselves? • If you had an arranged marriage, what would you expect of your partner? Would your expectations be different than if you married for love? • How would your life be different if your parents had […]

July 04

It’s A Duck! No, It’s A Dog!

Pet humiliation sinks to new depths with this muzzle that will turn any self-respecting pooch into a quacker. I saw these at the giant pet emporium out in Odaiba, and unlike the fluffy pink afro wigs and Princess Leia costumes that marked the previous low point for canine companions, this time it’s not just small dogs […]

June 24

Monkey Business

I was walking around the Decks shopping complex in Odaiba, and suddenly, MONKEY SHOW. Seriously. Right in the middle of the mall. A monkey show. Of course, trained monkeys have been entertaining people for a long time in Japan – the tradition dates back to before the samurai era – but usually you have to […]

March 12

Tokyo Steampunk!

Alice In Wonderland X Jules Verne! Gothic Lolita X Victorian Mourning! Manga X Edwardian Gentleman! In the land where costume is king (and often queen, even if you’re not a woman!), steampunk does not disappoint. The Tokyo Steampunk Society has adopted a time travel motif, which allows anybody who already cosplays to reimagine themselves in […]

December 11

Emo Santa

“Deck the halls with boughs of hemlock, fu-fu-fu-fu-fu, fu, fu, fu, fu…” Do you find red to be just too unbearably cheery? Think “Jingle Bells” ought to be remixed as “For Whom the Bell Tolls”? Well, finally there’s a Santa costume for those who would prefer to be The Un-Jolly Old Elf! Now Goths, death metal […]

November 16

Your Very Own Brainwave-Controlled Cat Ears!

Ever wish you could telegraph your feelings as easily as Mr. Bigglesworth? Well, now you can, with these furrific NecoMimi brainwave-controlled cat ears! Spot a gorgeous guy whose skin is too good to be true or a hot babe in a goth kimono? The ears perk up! Zoning out during Japanese class, while watching the […]

October 10

Life Size Living Dolls

So, your friend sets you up on a blind date. He describes the girl you’re meeting as a bishōjōgurumi. You look the bits and pieces of kanji up in your ever-handy Japanese electronic dictionary. Woo hoo! “Beautiful…Woman…Doll”! Dude, I totally owe you! And when she shows up to meet you, you discover he was not lying. She’s […]

September 08

Sit Down Stand Up

One day last fall, as I was walking through Yoyogi Park on my way to fall off the slackline, I saw this guy standing by a tree in a vaguely medieval-looking costume. In America I’d have hustled by, careful to make ZERO eye contact, sure he was either a member of a rabidly proselytizing religious cult […]

June 10

Running Blind

Today in Yoyogi Park I saw a big group of runners warming up near the place where I regularly fall off the slackline. That’s not unusual – packs of them regularly lope through Tokyo, getting their exercise on. What was different about this group is that half of them couldn’t see, and some couldn’t hear. […]

March 05

Dogs In Kimonos

You can’t help but throw your head back and laugh in amazement when fifteen dogs parade by, dressed in Japanese formalwear. In honor of Hina Matsuri (the doll festival that happens every year at the beginning of March) the local Husky club turned up in Yoyogi Park yesterday all decked out in kimonos. I’ve seen this club […]

February 06

Party Bodhisattva

Just because you’re a bodhisattva and charged with the un-small task of looking after children and travelers doesn’t mean you never get to kick off your sandals and party. This O-Jizo-sama at Zōjōji temple is ready to blow out the candles on his birthday cake (although he might need help, considering there would be over 1500 of […]

January 28

Pet Humiliation Made Easy

Children old enough to have any self-respect whatsoever can be annoyingly uncooperative when it comes to putting them in little curly horned wigs, but dogs and cats can often be bent to your evil will. In Japan, the phenomenon of costumed animals has been taken to a whole new level. In every neighborhood, boutiques like […]

December 11

Squid Ink Popcorn

Watching  celebs dressed in puffy animal costumes battle it out on TV can give you a powerful craving for just the right snack, but it’s near-impossible to whip up a plate of squid ink pasta before the commercials are over. With this handy kit, you can satisfy all your snack cravings (including some you didn’t […]

October 30

Harroween

Please excuse the wretched low-res phonesnap, but I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures at a typical Halloween bar party in Shibuya. Japanese costume favorites were well represented: boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as animals, men dressed as geisha, and Mario & Luigi. There were a few excellent outliers, though. One guy wore regular […]

September 17

Little Red Riding Colonel

In Akihabara, apparently even Colonel Sanders is into cosplay. This is a somewhat homemade-crafty-looking attempt to draw attention to KFC’s current apple pie promotion. Must check my other favorite life-sized Colonel in Hiroo to see how widespread this little costume is! He always dons a Santa suit in December at the Hiroo branch, but I’ve […]